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December Recipe of the Month
Try our December recipe of the month and create your own Christmas Pudding.
450g/1lb mixed fruit (raisins, sultanas, currants, chopped dried apricots)
1 lemon – zest and juice
1 orange – zest and juice
100g/4oz white breadcrumbs
4 tbsp milk (full fat or semi-skimmed)
2 tbsp brandy (or sherry or rum)
100g/4oz self-raising flour
100g/4oz mixed, finely chopped nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts etc)
2 tbsp ground mixed spice
Pinch of salt
175g unsalted butter, softened
100g/4oz dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1. Place the mixed fruits, orange and lemon zest and juice, breadcrumbs, milk and brandy in a large bowl and mix together until smooth. Leave to marinate for 2-3 hours or overnight.
2. In a bigger mixing bowl, combine and sieve the flour, nuts, mixed spice and a pinch of salt. Stir in softened butter and brown sugar, and gradually beat in the eggs.
3. Then retrieve the earlier marinated dried fruit mixture and pour all of that into the bigger bowl too. Stir all the ingredients together with a wooden spoon or handheld whisk until the mixture has a soft, creamy consistency throughout.
4. Grease a 1.5 litre pudding bowl with butter, and tip in the mixture from the big bowl.
5. Cover with a double layer of greaseproof paper or baking parchment, then a layer of aluminium foil. Tie securely with string so everything inside is watertight.
6. Place the bowl in a deep saucepan then add water halfway up to the height of the bowl.
7. Bring the water in the saucepan to the boil, then simmer for 4 hours. Take care to ensure the water never boils dry.
8. Check the pudding, which should be a dark brown colour when cooked. Remove from steamer, prick in a few places with a skewer, and allow to cool. Add in extra brandy if required.
9. Eat, or store for 4-5 weeks before Christmas, in which case allow a further two hours to steam the same way on the day. Serve with cream, brandy butter or ice cream.